Alfred Hitchcock serves up a interesting and well
done story featuring James Stewart, Kim Novak (1958). The plot is well crafted with plenty of nice little twists and expansions where you dont expect them, very nice all around. As habit forces, I fell compelled to write about my reactions to the movie, and to not say anything that might spoil the actual experience of seeing it. At no point was I anticipating the end of the movie as often happens when they are tedious or the plot is predictable, the characters are, of course, well done and catching. Please do see.

The tentacle of DC Comics that is set up to work on the kinds of comic books that draw Goth people, i.e. The Dreaming, Preacher, The Invisibles, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, The Books of Magic,, etc. It's a popular line, but with The Sandman gone, and Invisibles and Preacher coming to a close, they're going to lose a lot of their market share, at least from the bitter_engineer demographic.

Fortunately, Transmetropolitan is still looking quite good.

Turns out this Hitchcock classic may have been a bit autobiographical. The eccentric director was smitten with leading lady Grace Kelly who appeared in several of his films, including Rear Window and Dial M for Murder (both 1954).

When she abandoned her acting career to marry the Prince of Monaco, Hitchcock was crushed, and for the remainder of his directorial days he attempted to find a substitute for his lost blonde bombshell. Interesting that not only does Kim Novak bear a striking resemblance to Kelly; but that Vertigo is about a man's attempt to remake a woman in the image of his lost love.

"You never keep souvenirs of a killing!" - James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson.

An incredible movie starring the aforementioned James Stewart and Kim Novak that is considered by many to be director Alfred Hitchcock's greatest masterpiece. The movie has inspired many anothers (The Sixth Sense?) in some areas such as cinematography,score and location shooting.

Set against the wonderful scenery of San Fransisco it tells the story of a police dective (Stewart) who has found out that he has acrophobia after a shocking experience that led to a co-worker's death. Hence the title of the film.

He retires from the force and decides to become a private eye at the beckoning of an old "college chum." His former friend wants Stewart to follow his wife because she appears to be going into strange trances and living the life of one of her ancestoral relatives. Stewart decides to take the job and...the rest of the suspenseful movie is born. There's murder, intrigue, lies, love, and obsession.

The movie was a failure by critics during its release in 1958, but over time many of those same critics have had complete reversals in noticing the quality of the film. Among Hitchcock fans it is a cult classic.

Running Time: 2 hrs. 8 mins.
Rated PG

The film is available in widescreen, pan and scan, and DVD from Universal Home Video that has been restored and remastered.

The film Vertigo is also a great way to see what San Francisco used to look like. This is one of the only ways to see the old Union Square, classic old restaurants, bookshops, and flower stands that never made it past the 80's greed movement or the recent money-grab. Some of the places in the movie haven't changed a bit. The place where Kim Novak falls into the bay, Fort Point, remains at the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. If James Stewart really jumped into the water there, it would have had to be at high tide, otherwise the great actor may have hit the jagged rocks that line the outcropping there.

San Juan Bautista, located a short drive south of San Francisco, is also preserved exactly the way it looked in front of Alfred Hitchcock's cameras many years ago. And who could forget The Palace of the Legion of Honor? That museum is a San Francisco landmark that I hope will never change. Sadly, there is no portrait of Carlotta Valdez inside, but they had a nice Picasso exhibit not too long ago.

The Mission Dolores is also still relatively unchanged throughout the years, even though the neighborhood surrounding it has changed many times in past years.

Vertigo, known in the medical community as "benign positional vertigo," is a somewhat uncommon illness. It produces feelings of disorientation and problems with balance or identifying directions in the sufferer. Common, secondary symptoms include light to disabling dizziness; lightheadedness; vomiting; light to severe headaches; and it offsets the body's natural balance/equilibrium with its surrounding environment. (i.e., you fall down a lot, like Gerald Ford did.)

There are a multitude of causes for vertigo, though nothing really concrete has yet been established. Vertigo affects the bones in the inner ear that are responsible for the regulation of balance, motion and some gastrointestinal triggers in the body, which is why people with vertigo often vomit frequently. Generally, what happens is that your ear's balance system (which controls your whole body) gets stuck in one position, thus when you make a move in any direction other than the one that the balance system is stuck in, you become dizzy and nauseated.

In some cases, vertigo is accompanied by auditory hallucinations that occur only when your balance is thrown off, which really makes getting over it much more difficult due to the constant looking around for the source of the noise that the sufferer just heard. For me, it sounded like a bee buzzing around my head, only louder, from one ear to the other.

Vertigo is usually treated with motion sickness-controlling medicine such as Dramamine, or prescription-only drugs such as Meclizine (which is basically just a stronger version of Dramamine) and with having the sufferer's inner ear canals cleaned thoroughly by a doctor or qualified nurse practitioner.

Speaking from experience (I got vertigo as a part of SSRI cessation syndrome), vertigo is no fun. I highly recommend against contracting it.

Released in 2001, on EZ Chief Records, Vertigo is Jump, Little Children's second official full-length album. It took some time for the group to finally get this new project out there, as their previous label Breaking Records, all but disappeared, taking the album along with it. It was a bit of time before they could get it back, which caused delays and grumbling amidst fans, but finally, in September of 2001, the group managed to get it out on their own label. The album was/is being distributed by Red Eye. The musical credits here are too many to mention, the regular group members are of course all present, along with many others throughout various tracks. but Enough of the boring technicalities, already.

Vertigo is very different from what Jump, Little Children have given us in the past, with Magazine, in particular. There is a stronger more polished sound here, there is intense focus on the sheer musical talent of the group. Jay Clifford's voice has never sounded so amazing, and it has certainly never been used so effectively as an instrument.

There have been comparison's to Radiohead, Squeeze, and numerous others floating around, most probably with good reason. At times the album definitely seems to share the melodic haunting sort of sound that is reminiscent of certain tracks on Ok Computer, you will notice this particularly with Pigeon. At the very least, you will note that the group has evolved in some very distinct, interesting ways. It just might take you a while to figure it all out. That is something you will most definitely need with this album, time.

This is not the sort of music you listen to once and walk away from with a full understanding of what is being presented to you. It might be quite some time before the depth and musical elegance of some of these pieces really sinks in. Jay has really established himself as a wordsmith, here, if it were that anyone had previously doubted. If you really want to know what you are hearing, it is quite possible you will need to reach for the insert before it all comes together in your head. Many of the lyrics are absolutely gorgeous, all flowing-rising-falling with his voice, with the strings and the - oh yes this could be called a tangent. It is achingly beautiful, the way that the sounds and words blend together, the way his voice wraps around it all and holds it so together. As far as reasons to buy this album, it is more than worth it simply for the angelesque sound of Jay Clifford's voice. (I am far from the only one that thinks so, promise.)

It is hard to do so without wanting to point out how amazing each is for countless reasons, but if I were to list some notable tracks: Too High is what one might consider the typical high energy J,LC, and seems most memorable the first run through the album. Words of Wisdom is notable for it's upbeat sound, and sweet-sad lyrics (the song pertains to the death of Matt and Evan's father, which feels like a good enough reason to mention on its own). There is of course a token Matt track, very soft-sexy voice beatnik-style flow.. this is Singer, and it leads perfectly into Pigeon. Pigeon was for me, a wonderful surprise of sorts, the last track that left me in awe of the amazing things Jay Clifford can do with his voice. They have put together a most sophisticated, decidedly brilliant collection of music here, far exceeding any expectations I'd had when I first slid the cd into its little cradle. Incidentally, it hasn't left my player since, and I don't expect it to any time soon.

Being that J,LC has all but refused to prescribe to the typical methods of gaining popularity, and relies almost entirely on its loyal (somewhat insane and obsessive) fan base to spread the word, I will mention that you should really go out and buy this album. If you are familiar with their older stuff, if you've ever appreciated one of their live shows.. if you haven't heard them at all. You should be able to find it in numerous locations throughout the U.S. It can also be purchased online. For more information about the band, upcoming tour dates, and all of that other good stuff:

Track Listing
  1. Vertigo
  2. Angeldust (Please Come Down)
  3. Too High
  4. Hold Your Tongue
  5. Lover's Greed
  6. Yearling
  7. Mother's Eyes
  8. Come Around
  9. Words Of Wisdom
  10. The House Our Father Knew
  11. Made It Fine
  12. Overkill
  13. Singer
  14. Pigeon
The first and title track of the album is perhaps one of the best examples of Jay's ability to create music and lyrics perfectly suited to his voice. It tries to put to words the intense feelings involved with all that crazy love stuff..

leaning from the balcony as if without a care
wondering should i take the fall
or should i take the stairs
have i already fallen over and now
spinning in the air
i don't know, i'm in this vertigo

leaning from a precipice that only love would dare
spinning in a gravity that only love could bear
were i to tumble from this cloudy high
how would i fare
take it slow, i'm in this vertigo

take me down, down where the rain falls
down where the rain can wash away this high
i feel i've gone beyond the edge and falling
falling like tears that turn to snow
falling in this vertigo

leaning from the balcony above the interstate
will i come around too soon, or will it be too late
surely there's only one direction i could go at this rate
down below, i'm in this vertigo

if i had my way i would stay up here forever
and never look down
but surely it will come 'cause i've always had that feeling
of rushing the ground, rushing the ground..

I was dreaming... dreaming I was playing magic cards. But then the room started spinning. I woke up from this dream... "Aaron, my dreams are spinning..." I mumbled, trying to go back to sleep. But the bedroom was spinning around me, as though I were on a stationary carrousel and everything revolved around me. With every move it worsened. I tried to focus on something, anything, but it would quickly drift to the right... I could not keep up with it.

Stumbling to the bathroom, my stomach started flip flopping. The bathroom door wouldn't stay still. I dropped to my knees and clutched the toilet bowl for dear life. Vomiting even as everything spun around me, Aaron was at my side. "Everything won't stop spinning," I sobbed. I was so scared. It was like nothing I'd ever felt. I shook all over. If I let go of the toilet bowl I went hurtling off into the wild blue yonder, my head detaching from the rest of me, still slumped on the bathroom floor.

It began to pass. He got me some water to sip, which settled my stomach. Everything was still all wonky and moving around when I got up to phone the nurses' hotline, who recommended I get me to a hospital. The cab ride over to VGH was weird. In one hand I clutched the cooking pot, in the other, Aaron's hand. I felt like I was attached to the world at two places and two places only; my feet, and my hand on his. If I lifted my feet, my world tilted to the left.

At the hospital the ER doc checked me out in a number of new and interesting ways, mostly involving eye movement, the inside of my ears, and the backs of my eyeballs. He gave me some Gravol and said to come back if it got as bad as it was at first. I feel much, much better, just like I have a flu (which I probably do, vertigo is sometimes just triggered by any virus).

I found that joking about at the hospital made me feel much better.
"So you haven’t had like 40 cups of coffee then?" he asked.
"Oh, THAT'S what it must be from."
"Hahah... did you go on a drinking binge?"
"Heavens no." *makes the Captain Jack Sparrow movement*
"Did you know you're wearing one black sock and one white sock?"
"I'd be worried if I wasn't."

In conclusion, vertigo is not fun. If you ever wake up in the middle of the night to find everything is spinning, I hope you have someone there with you, and some Gravol.

Ver"ti*go . [L., fr. vertere to turn. See Verse.]

1. Med.

Dizziness or swimming of the head; an affection of the head in which objects, though stationary, appear to move in various directions, and the person affected finds it difficult to maintain an erect posture; giddiness.


2. Zool.

Any one of numerous species of small land snails belonging to the genus Vertigo, having an elongated or conical spiral shell and usually teeth in the aperture.


© Webster 1913.

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